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January 22, 2019

Lung’aho believes Malkia Strikers will rise to the occasion in Japan

Malkia Strikers’w players during a past match
Malkia Strikers’w players during a past match

Kenya Volleyball Federation technical director David Lung’aho is convinced the national women’s team will make an impact at this month’s FIVB World Championship in Tokyo, Japan this time round.

Lung’aho said reception, which has been their biggest problem in previous tournaments, has since been sorted and there seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Reception was blamed for the national team’s poor show last year when they succumbed to fast-raising Cameroon in the final of the Africa Cup Nations. Lung’aho acknowledged that the department has been Kenya’s main undoing and believes with the preparations they have undergone ahead of the September 29 to October 20 event, they will do well.

“It’s true our back court defence has been wanting in the previous events and our opponents have always capitalised on the situation to beat us. However, I believe this time around, the department will function well at least if the statistics of the players are anything to go by,” said Lung’aho.

“We have experienced liberos in Elizabeth Wanyama and Aggripina Kundu and I have their records since we started training. They have really improved and I know if we get the reception right, we can pull surprises at the world stage. Captain Mercy Moim, Leonida Kasaya and Sharon Chepchumba can also receive well and I am sure they will this time round rise to the occasion.”

The tactician said they have also set a side time to focus on service. “The team has in the past awarded our opponents free points owing to poor services and that’s why we are also concentrating on that department as well. So far so good. Other departments are working perfectly well and it is just matter of fine tuning.”

The women’s team, which is in residential training at the Moi Stadium, Kasarani are expected to play a build-up match against Kenya Commercial Bank tomorrow and Strathmore University men on Saturday ahead of their departure to the host nation next Tuesday. Kenya are pitted in Group ‘D’ alongside world champions Brazil, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico and Serbia.

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